I went to a service today that facilitates being in a sensory deprivation tank, otherwise known as floating, and believe I experienced a greater separation between mind and awareness.
I used the question “where is my attention” to bring greater awareness to my focus and where I was placing it. In doing that, I noticed a deep awareness of the moment, my body, my presence there, floating on the water.
This was remarkable for as I realized this presence, I gained a deeper sense of my own reality: in becoming aware of my body and presence in the moment, I felt at ease. I was no longer completely caught up in the energy of the mind and my tendency to be in a stress-response-state.
This gave me a great sense of ease and security, a sense of knowing, of safety and groundedness. I felt that I could confront the world with open eyes, at ease with my form, my physical body, able to weather any storm that might arise in life because of this sense of completeness and oneness with myself.
I also felt life as an opportunity for potential, an adventure and not something to fear or mistrust.
As I lay there, I would begin to notice parts of my body and would enjoy feeling into them with an open curiosity and without attachment or a need to achieve anything (I’ve certainly been guilty of “trying” to achieve a result through meditation before!).
In the float tank, with everything subdued – the sound, the light, the temperature, the weightlessness of my body – in that environment, it’s as if there is a greater capacity to notice ourselves.
I always enjoy floating because I always (so far, I’ve only done it twice) experience something beyond what I’ve previously experienced on my own. Indeed, every meditation can offer us new insights, regardless of the environment but there seems to be more space or room for growth in a sensory deprivation tank.
I think that, if I were to float regularly, that that would really help to accelerate the deepening of my awareness so that – hopefully – one day, I will be more accustomed to facing the world with open eyes, as opposed to being in my head, interpreting life through a lens of fear and anxiety, living or being stuck in old, unhelpful patterns.
When I can find rootedness in the present – being grounded in my physical presence – or anchored in the present moment, as Eckhart Tolle talks about in the Power of Now, that will be a great shift, from mind to body, from thought to present moment reality.
I will see where the future takes me but one thing is for sure: that won’t be my last float.